HARLINGEN — Police had little to go on.
The case had no witnesses, no motive, no murder weapon.
It began early on a Monday morning when Dr. James Hefner’s receptionist opened his office for business.
She discovered the Harlingen dentist lying on the floor in a hallway, a puddle of blood under his head.
The 72-year-old had been shot three times — twice in the head, once in the chest.
Bullet holes were in a wall and there were signs of a struggle, his son said. But there were no signs of forced entry into the dentist office, and Hefner still had his wallet on him — with money in it, police told him.
“He was a kind man,” Greg Desaro, a neighbor of Hefner, said at the time.
“Who would hurt him like that? I hope they catch him, whoever did it.”
Those words were uttered on Tuesday, Oct. 7, 2003, one day after Hefner was murdered.